Bitty Baby update, and a bit of progress

I was really concerned about the bitty babies last night! We dipped at least as low as -7C/19F during the night. I knew if the bitties were inside the cat house, they would be okay – especially if they had a mama to curl up with – but if any of them got caught outside, and the board ramp was knocked over, they couldn’t get back in on their own.

The board ramp was knocked over this morning. The brick it was braced against was frozen to the ground. I suspect we are still getting skunk visits during the night. We don’t see them around anymore, though I’ve seen the odd one on the security camera live feed at night. They go into the cat house entry to eat any kibble that’s left there.

Thankfully, I spotted all four of the bitties through one of the windows. The board ramp is back, but I didn’t want to hang around too much, or they’d be tempted to go outside.

There was no mama. I didn’t even see an adult cat come out of the cat house when I went outside. The bitties have the cat house to themselves; all the other kittens seem to be leaving it to them, other than when they pop into the entry to nibble on some kibble.

All the shallow water bowls were frozen, and the big bowl had a layer of ice on top, but I had some nice, warm water for them. The board ramp I set up for the water bowl shelter is being well used, with lots of little footprints in the frost.

I tried to do a head count, and I think I counted 21, plus the four bitties. Rolando Moon came around later. If any of the mamas came around, it wasn’t while I was there to see them.

With all those growing kittens and cattens, and the temperatures dropping, they are going through the kibble faster. We’re going to have to pick up more before the end of the month. The cat lady is going to try and get some donated cat food for us, too, though we don’t know when she’ll be able to do that.

Before starting on this post, I sent an email to her through her cat rescue’s email address. We usually text, but that’s always a pain out here. Especially if I want to send photos. My phone is supposed to link up to the wifi for calls or texts, if there is no data signal available, but it’s never been good at actually accomplishing that. So I sent the email, with a few pictures, explaining the situation. Hopefully, she knows of a foster family that can take in kittens that aren’t weaned yet. While the kittens don’t look like they are starving or dehydrated, that may just be a “yet”. At least the clones have figured out kibble is food, but I don’t know about the other two.

Hopefully, I will hear back from her soon.

In other things, I got some progress on those willow branches I’d pruned. I dragged them all over to where we’re building up a burn pile where the big branch pile that got chipped used to me, and sorted through them there. Only a few of the branches went straight to the burn pile. With most of them, even if the branches were kind of wonky, most had enough straight sections that I could still use them in sections. It’s still nowhere near enough to finish the wattle weaving, but there will be at least a bit more progress.

Though both today and tomorrow are supposed to have highs just above freezing, with tomorrow slightly warmer than today, we are no longer getting rain and snow. We will be nice and sunny, which makes it a good time to get some things covered. I’m glad I picked up the 3 pack of medium duty tarps at Costco a while back. One of the things that needs to be covered is my late brother’s post pounder that he built. It needs to be refurbished, and that’s not a job we can do right now, but we can at least keep it from getting worse. The trap I’d wrapped around it before was torn to shreds by the wind, and I finally cut the remains away completely, not long ago. The plastic that was covering the motor was also starting to tear, so I made a priority of at least covering that, first. The tarps I have are only 8’x10′, but that should be enough to cover most of it, if I do it right. I’ve learned from how and where the old tarp started shredding, where I need to put some sort of padding, first. Between that and being more strategic on how the tarp is tied down, I hope to be able to reduce the damage from high winds.

The other thing I need cover is the wood pile – formerly junk pile – near the house. The groundhogs absolutely destroyed the old tarp that was over it before, for nesting material – then disappeared. The top boards may be pretty rotten, but the further down we go in the pile, the better shape the wood, and I’d like to keep them from getting worse. This year, however, we had not been able to mow, weed walk or weed a lot of areas as we normally would have, and one side of the pile is among those. It’s completely full of mostly thistles right now. I’ll have to cut away enough of that to be able to reach the pile from all sides, so it can be re-covered with a new tarp. The old tarp was held down by whatever heavy things where handy. This time, I want to actually peg it to the ground.

There is still much to get done before the snow flies – and stays!

The Re-Farmer

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